The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Facebook and MySpace: Problems for Pa DUI Lawyers

Underage drinking and driving is a huge problem for Pa DUI lawyers. And with prom season fast approaching, issues related to underage drinking are coming to light. In recent weeks, there have been several trials dealing with underage DUI offenders. What's interesting is that many of these cases present similar issues for Pennsylvania DUI lawyers.

One issue, that is becoming quite common for Pa DUI lawyers, is the issue of social networking. Society in general, but more specifically the younger generation, has moved into the de-privatization of life's everyday events.

What do I mean by that?

Well, a common culture is emerging, whereby people feel the need to share details of their lives on social networking websites, such as Facebook, Twitter or MySpace. As a result, prosecutors are sifting through items found on these sites and using it against criminal DUI defendants, much to the chagrin of Pennsylvania DUI lawyers.

Earlier in this blog, we covered the story of Amanda Everly. Everly, 24, had been on trial since 2005 on DUI related charges. At the time of her crash, she had been intoxicated, with a blood alcohol level almost twice the legal limit.

At her sentencing, the Assistant District Attorney brought Amanda Everly's Facebook page into issue. The Assistant DA argued for a longer prison sentence, due to the fact that Everly's Facebook page indicated a lack of remorse. Everly continued drinking, even after the crash, and made jokes about her heavy drinking on her Facebook page.

In another case, 20 year old Joseph Genovese Jr. was called a "real punk" by the judge, during his sentencing hearing after a DUI homicide conviction. Genovese had allegedly killed a Cardinals fan after driving under the influence near the ballpark in 2008. His sentence was drastically harsher than expected, largely due to the fact that the District Attorney pointed to Genovese's MySpace page, where he had posted a mug shot of himself and bragged about smoking pot and driving his Lexus at high speeds.

These two cases present the difficulty many Pa DUI lawyers have with the Internet and the availability of information. So, what's the lesson here for DUI offenders?

If you've been arrested, stay off Facebook!

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